Sermon as Movement of Images

The next pattern described in Allen’s work Preaching Patterns is Thomas H. Troeger’s approach. In this approach you preach a sermon that is composed of images described verbally. You can see the method in his work Imaging a Sermon

Series of Images

The heart of this method is to present the sermon as simply a series of images. The preacher would simply move from a description of the image to another description of an image. The preacher attempts to clearly present the image as including the sights, sounds, and even smells of the text under consideration. One should note that these images are described verbally.

The preacher should develop the sermon with little explanation, just the images. The thought is that the images will clearly convey the thought and thus make it easier for the people to apply the image today in their own way.

Ordering the Images

You can order the images in a few ways. You could order them by the movement of time. You could also use space. You see this in certain movies or shows that describe what is happening in a certain locale before jumping to another one. Finally you could simply use the images as they show up in the text.

Analysis

I am always leary of methods, like this one, that make no propositional claim. Here you simply allow the images to convey the message. That can be powerful when it works, but I suspect that often it will not.

In addition, my guess is that this kind of method will only work with certain kinds of text. These texts will be those with a lot of data that appeals to the senses.

On the other hand, this method forces us to look at the text for things that would appeal to the senses. I think this is valuable. When we are exegeting a text for preaching we should always look for the sights, sounds, and smells in the text. We also want to find that which we can feel in the text. This method takes that data and simply puts it before the people.

This method can definitely be helpful in really getting into the text for preaching and in the preaching event.

Comments

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Preaching, Preaching Methods

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
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